Bleeding gums, is it Normal?

One of the most common questions we get asked as both Dentists and Hygienist is, ” Why do my gums bleed?” or ” My gums bleed when I brush but I know it is because I never floss!”. Today at Hartwell Dentistry we are going to be breaking this common myth by explaining what could be the REAL cause of your bleeding gums.

It is a common belief that bleeding gums while brushing and flossing our teeth is completely normal. Most people probably assume that it is because they brushed too hard or pushed to hard when trying to get the floss between teeth.

Well, to be blunt, this is false!!  

Bleeding gums can actually be a sign of much larger health concerns.

We all get trapped into separating our oral health from the rest of our body!

Let’s think about it for a moment; if any other part of your body was consistently bleeding during our daily routines of shaving, exfoliation or showering we would immediately become concerned, probably to the point of scheduling an appointment with your G.P.

So why not apply the same thought pattern to our mouths?

Bleeding gums can be an indicator that you have periodontal (gum) disease. Research shows that inflammation associated with periodontal disease is directly linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and other major health issues. In fact, at this very moment over 50 systemic diseases with oral relationships are being researched. Sometimes the first sign that there is something wrong is seen in the mouth.

So, what will you be doing the next time you notice your gums are bleeding? Here are some tips:

  • Focus on brushing and flossing your teeth twice a day for at least 1 – 2 weeks.
  • Use salt water mouth rinse once a day, again for 1-2 weeks.

If bleeding still occurs;

  • Visit your dentist for a thorough examination
  • Arrange an appointment with your oral health therapist or dental hygienist.
  • You might be susceptible to gum disease and 6 monthly hygiene appointments are not frequent enough for you
  • There could be underlying issues to your general health, this may include high blood pressure or high blood sugar levels.
  • You may have changed medication that is directly affecting your healing and making you more prone to dry mouth and bleeding gums

Why do my gums bleed?

Your mouth is a window to your body.

It is the start of your digestive system and it harbours more bacteria and other living organisms than you can imagine. Be thorough and attentive when it comes to your oral health.

Join us next time where we will continue to discuss how our oral health and our overall health are more connected than we ever thought.